The first in a series of upcoming road closures for work on the Borders Railway takes place this weekend, closing the A7 at Gorebridge.
Essential work on two key bridges on the Borders Rail route will require weekend and overnight closures as well as some restrictions on the A7 trunk road during November.
The first phase of these works will be at Gore Glen at the weekend, where a brand new railway bridge is being installed over the A7 trunk road. The work involves 15 large pre-cast beams being lifted into place to form the base of the new track over the bridge.
The construction work will be carried out from 8pm on Friday (November 8) to 8am on Sunday (November 10) under a road closure of this portion of the A7. Allowance has also been made for a subsequent closure from 2pm on Sunday November 10 to 6am on Monday November 11. There will be a diversion set up on the B704 running through Gorebridge and Powdermill Brae.
There will be a further closure on this part of the A7 on Saturday November 16 between 7am and 5pm with the same diversion route in place.
Hugh Wark, project director, Network Rail Scotland, said: “The Gore Glen bridge is the third largest new structure being built as part of the project, so this installation is another major milestone for the Border Railway.
“We are working hard to minimise disruption to the road network as far as practically possible by timing the closures for weekend off-peak times, however, there will be some inevitable delays to journeys on the A7. In particular, we’d encourage anyone travelling from the Borders to Edinburgh for international rugby those weekends to use the A68.
“We have listened to local concerns regarding the diversion through Gorebridge and will re-open the A7 to enable the Remembrance Sunday parade to take place in Gorebridge on November 10.”
Later in the month, work will be undertaken to ensure that the Lothianbridge Viaduct is safe for use for future rail passengers. From November 18-25 there will be traffic restrictions on the A7 under the viaduct. During the day, traffic will be managed by temporary traffic signals on manual control. At night there will be a full closure with a diversion in place along Newtongrange High Street.
Following this, the team will move further along the bridge, which necessitates the full closure of Carrington Road at the viaduct for five days, commencing November 25.
Hugh Wark continued: “Once complete, these works will link the north section of the Borders route to the rest of the line. They mark a clear milestone in the construction of the Borders Railway which, once it opens in 2015, will be enjoyed by passengers for years to come.
“We appreciate the potential inconvenience caused and ask local drivers to note the timings for these works and plan their journeys accordingly. We have specifically built in time to minimise disruption to Remembrance Sunday events.”
Network Rail and the contractor BAM have liaised with the community ahead of these works and are committed to continuing the dialogue throughout the duration of the project.